Books can be recommended or 'prescribed' by your GP, psychological well-being practitioner or another health professional. They will complete a prescription form attached to the Reading Well Books On Prescription user guide. Individuals can then take their book prescription to the library where the book can be borrowed for free.
Some people may also use the self-help books independently as a first step in seeking help.
Download the Reading Well Books on Prescription user guide [PDF].
You will need to be a library member to borrow a book. Joining is easy and free. You can either join online or do it at the library when you take in your 'prescription'.
You will be required to provide contact details and your prescription will provide a form of identification. Library book loans and borrower details are treated as strictly confidential.
Books can be borrowed for 3 weeks and renewed a further four times by tel:
0845 330 4435, post, fax or online
Making the most of the book
Self-help author Lee Brosnan has prepared some advice for making the most of any books you borrow [PDF].
Research from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence shows that self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions including depression and anxiety.
Although books can sometimes work on their own, research has shown that self-help approaches work best when there is support from a health professional. If you have been referred to an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, you might be seen by psychological well-being practitioner, who can guide you through the information.
The books have all been recommended by experts. They have been tried and tested and found to be useful.
About the scheme
A national Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for England delivered by The Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians with funding from Arts Council England. www.readingagency.org.uk/readingwell
The scheme is supported by: The Royal College of General Practitioners, The Royal College of Nursing, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, The British Psychological Society, the Department of Health’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT), the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapies, and Mind.